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City tweaking smoking ordinance

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The City of Crawfordsville is taking a different approach to curb youth vaping by tweaking proposed restrictions on the sale of vape sticks and smoking transmission devices in retail shops.

The original ordinance, introduced in November, would have required mini-marts and other retailers with underage customers to sell the devices from a separate section off limits to minors.

After input from local merchants and Indiana’s convenience store interest group, the ordinance will be changed so that the products only have to be placed behind the counter, Mayor Todd Barton said.

“Most all these retailers are doing it that way anyway,” Barton said. “There’s only a really, really small number that aren’t.”

The original language confused merchants who said vaping devices are often packaged together with the fluids that are inhaled through the devices. The city doesn’t have the authority to govern the sale of tobacco or nicotine substances, which are regulated by the state.

The ordinance was tabled at November’s full council meeting. The council held off on a vote once again Monday because the final version of the rules has not been introduced.

“I think we have the language right, now, so it should be ready to go [for the first reading] in January,” Barton said.

In other business, the council:

• Adopted an ordinance designating a stop intersection at Pike and Walnut streets.

• Adopted an ordinance changing the council’s meeting times. The meetings will be held at 6 p.m. the first and second Mondays, and move to the next day in the event of a holiday.

• Heard the first reading of an ordinance to annex six acres of land next to the future Traffic Control Specialists Inc. north of Corda Boulevard.

• Thanked councilmen Scott Molin (Ward 2) and Pete Utterback (Ward 3), who attended their final meeting as members, for their service on the council.

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